Photo credit Jean Bourret

We Are All
Friends of 53

The Highway 53 corridor through Cibola and McKinley Counties is among the most beautiful, historically significant, and culturally rich areas in the State of New Mexico. It is also one of the most valuable assets of the County for generation of tourist revenue, and all the ancillary benefits such activity generates.

The Highway corridor has received two special area designations from the State. It is a portion of the Ancient Way Arts Trail. It falls within the National Geographic Four Corners Geotourism Region, one of only 17 such areas in the world. It contains two National Monuments, many businesses, and a number of growing communities, all dependent on the same factors that make it a strong tourist attraction.

Friends of 53 is an open group of individuals who have come together to work toward the protection, enhancement, and promotion of Highway 53. Current and future projects include:

     - Working with Cibola County as they develop their land use ordinance and encouraging them to
       include a land use classification for critical management zones, so areas such as Highway 53 that
       are especially culturally, historically, and/or environmentally valuable, can receive particular protection.

     - Promoting a reduced speed limit of 35 MPH through El Morro Village.

     - Seeking road improvements, signage, and promotion of the area from both counties and the State.

     - Developing a map/brochure and a web-based calendar.

     - Coordinating our efforts with those of other jurisdictions (such as the Navajo and Zuni Tribes
       and the communities of Grants and Ramah) in the Highway 53 area.

     - Coordinating with groups focusing on scenic byways elsewhere in the State.

If you would like to become involved with Friends of 53 or wish further information, please contact Tim or Lucia Amsden, (505) 783-4144.

If you would like to receive notices of activities and progress of Friends of 53, please send an
e-mail to Pam Davis at